The top “Sherpas” or high-level representatives of the newly-expanded BRICS countries are meeting in Moscow Jan. 30-Feb. 1, TASS reported. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomed the participants, especially the five new members of the BRICS, having earlier noted that the BRICS has “a very big future,” with up to another 30 countries expressing interest in joining. “Russia, which assumed the chairmanship of BRICS on January 1, will, of course, pay special attention to the newcomers, who we hope will organically fit into our joint work and thus contribute to the strengthening of positive trends not only within BRICS, but also in the international arena in the interests of the world majority,” Lavrov said. The BRICS foreign ministers will meet in Nizhny Novgorod in June, and the high-level leaders’ summit will be held in Kazan in October.
TASS further reported that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, who serves as Russia’s “sherpa” within BRICS, said: “In January 2024, five new countries—Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia—became full members of BRICS. It is an honor for me to welcome you to the BRICS family. We believe that all our countries will benefit from this major step, which can easily be called a turning point in the history of our organization. The expansion of BRICS will contribute to building a new, more equal and fairer, multipolar world order, which will reflect the reality of the international arena better and enable the developing world to be more assertive. It will also enhance the role of countries with emerging markets.…”
It is noteworthy that Ryabkov included Saudi Arabia in the list of new members, since the latest official word from Riyadh as of a week ago was that they were still “considering” the matter—after having themselves announced earlier that they had indeed joined.